I figured the day would be slightly odd when a nightmare woke me around 4AM. It wasn't anything like a giant spider or my son in harm's way or [insert standard terrible fears here]. No, my dream involved an unusually thin, ambulatory, life-size Santa Claus doll made out of cloth. And that bastard wanted to rassle.
Here's the context: I was in some old Victorian house with another person (he/she was only outlined hazily in the dream) playing Ghost Hunters essentially, waiting for something to happen. And lo, I look into a darkened hall and see the white fur on a Santa suit. We immediately investigate. The unknown partner mutters something about "orb activity" and "EMF" this or that, while I decide to provoke the Standing Santa Doll. (And it was standing all by itself, without strings or a stand or being a mannequin or whathaveyou.) Bad Santa grabs my thumbs unkindly. I somehow manage to gain control and hurl him up the stairs like the cloth doll he is. Then the sumbitch gets back up and comes back down the stairs, ready to really dish it out.
That's when I woke up. But I was so tired, that my body was trying to go right back to sleep, but I didn't want to back to sleep and risk finding out what Possessed Bad Santa had in mind for me. So I fought to stay awake and distract myself for about a half hour or so. The rest of my sleep was dream-free as far as I know.
In addition to the general WTF quality of this dream, I'm now struck by the ability I seem to have developed of easing the terror and fright of my nocturnal musings by either 1) recognizing it's a dream early on (not enough to lucid dream), and telling my dreaming self that I've already had this dream before, and I remember that X monster is going to jump out here or Y bad guy will get his in the end or 2) retconning my dreaming self into expecting the bad turn of events by being there specifically to study them (like being a Ghost Hunter). Thus it's been quite some time since I've had a truly terrifying, must turn on all the lights, whimper in hubby's arms nightmare. It's a fairly neat trick. No idea how I did it, of course.